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Biography of Yehuda Katz | Archives | This Week's Parsha


"This is the portion that you shall take from them ("meiTom"---in Hebrew): gold, silver, and copper." (25:3)

Moses is commanded to take from the Israelites materials to be used for the building of the Tabernacle. A question can be asked: Why does the verse 25:3 say "take from them", it should just say "take", "from them" is seemingly extra? What message is the Torah teaching us? I would like to propose, Bezrat Hashem, an original answer. An Israelite who only has copper, an inferior material as compared to gold ,or silver, might mistakenly be dissuaded from contributing copper out of shame that he is unable to contribute the " better" material, namely gold or silver. Therefore , the Torah adds the extra words of "from them" to emphasize the fact that whatever materials a person might have its still acceptable before G-d even if its copper a lesser material. No one has the right to withhold their contribution because its not as "good" as his neighbors, a person has whats given to him from G-d, some more -some less.However, we can learn a tremendous lesson concerning ourselves in this regard. No matter what spiritual level a person is presently on, he must regardless give what he can to serve G-d.

No one has the right to excuse himself from serving G-d because he is lacking in any regard spiritually in comparison to his friend. When the verse says "take from them-gold, silver and copper", it means "take from them" that which he presently possesses spiritually, even if its small, present it to G-d. Even if one is not presently a great sage, yet he must learn on the level he is presently on now. Even if a person is not rich, let him give what he can to a worthy cause. A similar thought is found in Vayikra 1:14 regarding the " Olah" offering (Elevation offering). An Olah is brought by someone who has intentionally committed a sin for which the Torah does not prescribe a punishment, or someone who failed to perform a positive commandment.

(The laws of the Olah are beyond the scope of this parsha Sheet.)A poor man brings an Olah offering of doves, yet even the feathers are offered up. (See verse 1:17 for further details) Rashi explains that since its from a poor man, the feathers of such an offering is precious before G-d. ( Please refer there for further details.) G-d requires of you what He knows that you have, nothing more or less. Yet, you must give it fully and sincerely. Have agood Shabbos


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